Queen's University

Colloquium: Stories of Dance, Stories of War - Examining Bharata Natyam dance practices in Colombo, Sri Lanka



February 28th, 2020 at 12:30PM

Location Marker


Harrison Le-Caine Hall 124

Ahalya Satkunaratnam

"Stories of Dance, Stories of War:  Examining Bharata Natyam dance practices in Colombo, Sri Lanka”


In this paper, narratives of Sri Lanka and its 26-year civil war between the state and the separatist group, the LTTE, are understood and undone through an exploration of the stories of dancing and dancers. As the war produced and maintained narratives in order to sustain a project of exclusion beyond and within the state’s borders — dance and dancing reveals a counter narrative that allows for more nuanced story, one that is complicated by practices of and desires for inclusion, one that is inherently transnational in movement and inspiration.
Ahalya Satkunaratnam is a dance scholar and dancer with a focus in cultural studies, teaching at Quest University in British Columbia Canada. She is especially interested in the relationships between aesthetics, embodied forms, and local and global politics.

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